RWP was born in Manchester, in the north of England, in the late 1950s, so he is very old. He really liked the north of England, which by 1965 was hip and had three TV channels, and where he went to a coed school. His parents, for reasons best known to themselves, then yanked him away, to Belfast and then Dublin, which had one TV channel that started up at 6 pm with the Angelus (Catholic call to prayer). He also had to go to an all boys school, where he realized he really missed girls. This probably let him focus on schoolwork, though, and at age 19, after he had finished college, he set off for America, where he still resides. He has a bachelors degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. from Harvard in biophysics, and has lived also in Mainz, Germany, Setauket NY, and Richland WA. He currently divides his time between Nebraska, Rosslyn VA, and Florida.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Taxes and Nebraska

For various reasons, we've been looking for a condo in downtown Lincoln. We found one place we like quite a bit. The price for which we can get it is about 75% of what we could get for our condo in Florida. The Florida place is impeccable, in a great area, 40 minutes from a major international airport, 1500 sq. ft. and overlooking the Atlantic. The back gate of the condo complex is a walk through flower-decked sand dunes to a beautiful beach. Its property taxes are half what we'd pay in Lincoln.

I'm currently in a dispute with the Department of Revenue in Nebraska. After 3 letters they claim the sent me, one of which I never received, they seem to have settled on a tax liability for 2012 in excess of $17,000. If I were resident in Florida, we'd pay zero. Florida doesn't have a state income tax.

I pay more in fees and taxes for my wireless bill in Nebraska than I would in any other state. The sales taxes I pay in Nebraska and Florida are the same, but if I go out to eat or have a beer in Lincoln I pay 2% extra to build an arena I will probably never attend. The drain goes on and on. When I retire, Nebraska is one of the few states that will tax my social security

I've lived in Lincoln 21 years. I can retire in less than four years. I like Nebraska, but not enough to keep me here through another winter or another tax year that I don't have to be a resident. Hawaii might be able to get me to pay through the nose of the privilege of domiciling there. Nebraska isn't Hawaii. When I leave the state, it can kiss off a total of perhaps $40 K in tax revenue for its schools, its colleges, its cities and its poor.

More and more people are like me; more and more of us have a choice where we reside. Nebraska needs to realize that it has a tax system designed to drive us elsewhere. Not smart, if you don't have beaches and tropical flowers and year-round warmth.

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